Virginia McLaurin

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Virginia McLaurin
Young at heart (7396001722).jpg
McLaurin in 2012, at the age of 103
Born (1909-03-12) March 12, 1909 (age 109)
South Carolina
Residence Washington, D.C.
Nationality  American
Occupation Retired seamstress and school volunteer

Virginia McLaurin (born March 12, 1909) is an American centenarian and community volunteer[1] who resides in Washington, D.C.


Virginia McLaurin was born in South Carolina in 1909, when segregation was common in many states and women did not have the right to vote.[2] She came to Washington D.C. as part of the Great Migration. Her husband died in 1941 while serving in World War II. She volunteers forty hours a week as a Senior Corps volunteer with the United Planning Organization's Foster Grandparents Program at the Roots Public Charter School.

In her lifetime she remembers the introduction of electricity, the early Model T Fords being driven on the road, and was living in Washington, D.C., when Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated.[3]

McLaurin at 106, (center) meets with President Barack Obama and wife first lady Michelle Obama, in the Blue Room of The White House February 2016

In 2013, McLaurin received a volunteer community service award from Mayor Vincent C. Gray in recognition of her voluntary work.[4]

In 2014, thanks to a campaign by the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), a TV crew publicized the fact that her apartment was infested with bed bugs. A local pest control company got rid of the infestation and gave her a free bed.[5]

She gained national attention after a visit to the White House on 18 February 2016 to celebrate Black History Month, after which a video of her dancing with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama went viral on social media.[6]

She celebrated her 108th birthday with the Harlem Globetrotters.[7]

On March 11, 2016 the eve of her 107th birthday McLaurin received the President's Volunteer Service Award for her two decades of nearly daily service to schoolchildren in the nation's capital.[8]

At the beginning of April 2016, thanks to many donations from the general public, McLaurin moved into her new apartment close to her church and the school where she is a volunteer.[9]

On May 27, 2016, she attended a Washington Nationals baseball game and was presented with a custom jersey on the field.[10]

On November 8, 2016, McLaurin voted on Election Day. She urged others to vote, as well, stating, "Please, go vote ... Go vote. If you don’t do anything else. If you have to crawl to go to the poll, then vote."[11]


  1. ^ Maine, D'Arcy (March 15, 2017). "Virginia McLaurin celebrates her 108th birthday with the Harlem Globetrotters". ESPN. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ Syreeta McFadden. "10 milestones in black history that Virginia McLaurin lived through". The Guardian, February 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Miller, Michael E. (February 22, 2016). "'A black president, yay': 106-year-old finally meets the Obamas, dances like a schoolgirl". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ Sherwood, Tom (December 17, 2013). "104-year-old Virginia McLaurin honored for volunteering in D.C." WRC-TV. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ Holmes, Horace (January 21, 2015). "106-year-old woman's D.C. apartment no longer bed bug infested, thanks to 7 On Your Side". WJLA-TV. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  6. ^ Garunay, Melanie (February 22, 2016). "Meet the 106-year-old who got to dance with the President and the First Lady". Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ Pearl, Diana. "Virginia McLaurin, Who Danced with the Obamas, Celebrates Her 108th Birthday with the Harlem Globetrotters". People. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  8. ^ Samantha Jo Warfield (2016-03-11). "Internet Sensation, 106-year-old Dancing Grandma Receives President's Lifetime Achievement Award for Service". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  9. ^ "Support for Ms. Virginia McLaurin". YouCaring. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ FOX 5 DC staff (May 27, 2016). "107-year-old Virginia McLaurin attends first MLB game, dances on the field". FOX 5 DC. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  11. ^ Wang, Amy B. (November 8, 2016). "Months after dancing at the White House, 107-year-old Virginia McLaurin votes". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 

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